“you keep using that word. i do not think it means what you think it means.” inigo montoya, the princess bride
Found this quote on transplanting me. It's my new motto for language learning. Especially tonal languages like mmmBELLYmay and Thai. Here's a Thai learner's story (not mine, although I wish I could claim it. Mine is below):
"one of the first phrases i learned to say after i arrived in thailand
was “excuse me” or “i’m sorry” and i’ve said it a lot. everywhere.
all over the place. all the time. any time i felt i’d made some sort
of error – which, really, was every time i had any reason to interact
with anyone. you know, accidentally bump into someone, “excuse me”. not
moving fast enough to get out of the way, “excuse me” i didn’t
understand what was said and had no idea how to communicate that,
“excuse me”. and the list goes on and on. today in language class i
learned that i hadn’t exactly been saying what i thought i’d been
saying. instead i’d been saying, “i farted.”
did i mention i’ve said it a lot?" transplanting me
So, I've made plenty of this kind of mistake all across the world. I'm going to leave you to google to figure out my absolute best language error (that I know about!).
I was eating with a bunch of French people, really smart, gracious French people, and finally dared to talk. "The bread is so good here! At home it's filled with preservatives."
Ok, now it's your turn to go have fun with Google translator or an online dictionary something and see why that last sentence made me blush.